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Dickenmann fires Lyon past Zvezda

Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 Zvezda-2005 (agg: 1-0)
A spectacular strike from substitute Lara Dickenmann proved enough to take the 2010 runners-up through.

Lyon's Lara Dickenmann scored the only goal of the tie
Lyon's Lara Dickenmann scored the only goal of the tie ©Sportsfile

Olympique Lyonnais had Lara Dickenmann to thank for emerging narrow winners against Zvezda-2005 in their UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final tie.

The 2010 runners-up dominated the goalless first leg in Russia against the beaten finalists from the year before and it was a similar story tonight. However, again Zvezda were holding out until Switzerland forward Dickenmann's superb curling effort from outside the box and Lyon, into their fourth straight semi-final, now face Arsenal LFC with the first leg here on 9/10 April and the return a week later.

Lyon started in dominant fashion against a Zvezda team happy to sit back and play on the counterattack. Louisa Nécib was first to go close for the home side with a deflected free-kick which whistled past a post, while Lotta Schelin then failed to test Nadiya Baranova despite being one-on-one with the Zvezda goalkeeper.

Overall, it was a first-half in which Lyon maintained consistent territorial advantage but lacked a cutting edge. The pattern failed to change after the break, with Nécib once again going close. A minute later Schelin looked certain to score, only to be denied by defender Elena Suslova, whose last-ditch tackle kept the French side at bay. Lyon's dominance paid off on the hour-mark, though, when Dickenmann fired into the top corner from outside the penalty area.

In an attempt to edge ahead in the tie, Zvezda coach Natalia Zinchenko added to her attacking options with the introduction of Busisiwe Ndimeni. However, soon after, Lyudmyla Pekur was shown a second yellow card with 13 minutes remaining. Lyon took full advantage, maintaining possession and comfortably closing out the match.

Winning coach Patrice Lair said: "We had to rally the girls at half-time but we made the game work before I settled for a result like this one. Now our path must not stop here, I'm happy to play Arsenal in the semi-finals because it's a real advert for women's football. "